|These are excerpts from the Finance tips column of the
It's funny how all sorts of "experts" are coming out of the woodwork now
to recommend that people buy bonds "because they are safe."
A bond is
a guaranteed financial loss. How the heck this is "safe" escapes me.
Why is a bond a guaranteed financial loss? A bond is not equity, it's
debt. It creates no value. For that reason, it can never return enough
to outpace inflation. While "investing" in a bond is safer than hoarding
Federal Reserve Notes (the cotton "dollar bills" that people erroneously
refer to as "paper money") and much safer than making an equity
"investment" (stock) in something you know little about, it's not safe.
Stocks are safe, only if you understand what you are buying. Since
stock is an equity (ownership) investment, it holds the potential to
outpace inflation. You have to remember that you are buying ownership in
an income-producing asset. You need to evaluate that asset before
buying, and you need to understand the risks of ownership.
Unless you understand the products, management, market, and
competitive environment of the company you are buying stock in, you are
merely gambling. Since most people lack the education, information
resources, time, and perseverance to understand these things, most
people should not buy individual stocks. Mutual funds, yes--but only if
you understand the management and the fund philosophy. If you are merely
chasing returns, you are gambling.
What else can you do? Some obvious investments include:
- Invest in training and education so you qualify for higher
income (proven: this works).
- Invest in your health, so you don't have disease accommodation
bills (what we call "healthcare" bills).
- Invest in your mind by reading books, so you have brainpower,
attention span, and knowledge.
Most people don't think of those three things as investment, but they
should. Most people think in terms of buying something. OK, so let's go
In 1983, I read a book that profoundly influenced my thinking on
investing. It talked about buying things on sale, and stocking up when
you do. This was something my parents did, and though I didn't think of
that in terms of investing, I followed this pattern more or less.
However, you can manage this kind of buying in a way that vastly
outstrips the "return" the average investor gets on "investment."
The key isn't to buy things just because they are on sale. Do that,
and you merely accumulate clutter. The key is to buy things you'd use
anyhow. For example, there's a sale on motor oil, 10% off. Buy the oil.
If you use it 6 months later, you've made a 20% annual profit.
Inflation may not stay within reasonable bounds. So even if you were
able to buy everything with, say, an annual profit of 20% you could
still lose wealth at an alarming rate. Of course, your 20% return is
much better than the 5% return someone else is making via a financial
Most people will not do the math on investing. If they buy a case of
oil and look at it six months later, they see a case of oil. There is no
broker's statement showing they made 20% on it. So they don't understand
that they made that kind of return on the investment. Plus, they are
going to use the oil and then it's gone so all they see is that they
spent money on oil.
If you think about it, this example is actually a leveraged
investment. It's money you were going to spend (not have) anyhow, and so
you make 20% on someone else's money but do so with real goods. Pretty
hard to lose in that scenario.
I think the basic problem is people want to see something on paper
showing their "profits" but don't understand that paper profits aren't
real profits. They are just paper profits.
Let's look even closer at this, now. You don't pay income tax on the
20% return on that oil, but you will pay income tax on that 5% paper
profit. Not only that, the IRS can seize your accounts (paper profit
storage) with no warning or justification, but they aren't going to come
to your house for that case of oil.
Does the word "duh" start coming to mind?
Investing isn't something you spend your money on. Investing is a
strategy for how you spend your money. And your time.
First, a short lesson on federal "borrowing."
People talk about how the USA federal government "borrows" money. That's
a misuse of terminology. The reality is the federal govt
taxes us in an amount equal to the amount it spends. When it "borrows" from
the Federal Reserve, the FR simply creates the money out of thin air. This inflates the money supply by the amount
allegedly "borrowed." Because inflation
means each existing dollar is worth that much less, the effect is a "taking" from
existing dollar holders. In other words, it's a tax.
But the FR doesn't simply create this counterfeit money that causes us
financial loss. It then records
its theft as OUR debt on ITS books! Not only are we taxed (by inflation),
we are also saddled with debt--that's two entries on the same side of the
ledger instead of one on each side. Talk about cooking the books!
The way the FR does this, it's like the creep who stole your stereo invoices
you for the value of what he took! Only in this case, there's
much, much more money involved.
This scam is fundamentally different from the way borrowing works. Borrowing puts equal
amounts on opposite sides of the ledger, not two entries on the debit side.
Rather than call it borrowing, we should call it debt-added taxation.
Make a point of correcting the sycophants who refer to this robbery as
"borrowing," because it's nothing of the sort and not nearly as benign.
Stimulating in the Economy
Now that we are clear on
federal "borrowing," we can understand why even more federal
debt-added taxation doesn't "stimulate" the economy. It does stimulate unemployment, as the data
clearly show and as common horse sense would predict. Other things it stimulates
in the economy include foreclosures, plant closings, store closings, unpaid
loans, bankruptcies, cutbacks in city services, and cutbacks in county services.
People who rejoice in the fact that the USA ranks at the bottom of all
industrialized nations in literacy will be pleased to know that Obamanomics also
stimulates the closing of public libraries, due to the shrinking county tax base
resulting from the other things this insanity stimulates.
So be careful when you encounter the propaganda about money
"helping" the economy
via federal "stimulus." This is not merely a false idea. It's outright fraud.
The money isn't the result of a transaction, for example I spend money (that
I earned) on something I want. What enters the economy is not new wealth (none
is created in this scam) or even wealth taken from another party or loaned by
another party. As we just noted, it's debt-added taxation.
Just to make sure this point hits home: when the Federal Reserve creates this money out of thin air for the govt to
"borrow" (instantly debasing the currency), that does not "inject"
money into the economy. It taxes us by degrading the value of money already in
the economy, and amazingly the FR adds debt by invoicing us for the amount we
Accounting for Stimulus
To believe in the hocus pocus of "stimulus," you would have to do Enron style
accounting. This kind of fraud is illegal, which is why Ken Lay, et al, went to
prison. Also, we flunk second graders (used to flunk them, anyhow) for not being
able to differentiate between adding and subtracting. It's an elementary
concept. It is impossible to increase by decreasing.
So when the federal govt spends (transfers to wealthy individuals via govt
contracts) money it does not have, this can never stimulate the economy. It can,
and does, stimulate job loss and a whole string of other negative consequences.
Thanks to Obama, we have the empirical data to prove this and no longer have to
rely on difficult concepts such as 4 - 2 = 2 not 6.
Stop the Stealing
The effect all this stealing has on your financial security is anything but
positive. Please let your misrepresentative in CONgress know that
the rampant spending, inflating, stealing, debt creation, and "Ken Lay
accounting" must stop.
About 90% of all federal govt
expenditures are illegal (see the 10th Amendment), so reducing the spending to something approaching sensible does not involve any hard choices. Unless, of course, you're on the
take and are accepting illegal payments to induce you to spend money your fellow
Americans do not have.
It's no coincidence that most members of CONgress don't take
long to become millionaires once they are in office. If we are silent, they will
continue to pillage and steal. So speak up. Your financial future depends on it.